Here's how home insulation benefits you in summers

Have you always thought of home insulation as a winter only thing? You have been wrong. Did you know that home insulation benefits as equally in summers as it does in winters? In winters, it keeps the heat inside and the heat loss is reduced. In summers, the insulation keeps the outside heat from entering the home keeping the indoor cool. The general benefits of home insulation are;

Benefits of home insulation in summers

- Since the home remains cooler than usual, the HVAC appliances don't have to work hard
- Home Insulation is a one-time investment for several years that help reduce energy bills as the heating/cooling appliances don't run constantly
- Insulation works as a noise proof solution
- In addition to all that, home insulation keeps the IAQ level healthy by not allowing outer pollutants in and also not circulating the air constantly in the indoors. The air, therefore, remains relatively fresh and healthy.

Above were the general benefits of home insulation. We also need to learn how exactly home insulation helps keep the indoor cool in summers and what are the major heat causing areas of the home. Read on:

In summers, the roof is the major place from where the heat of the sun gets absorbed. This heat makes the indoor warm as a result of conduction. The second major place is the walls. As the attic is insulated, the heat that enters the home from the roof can be barred entrance. Similarly, insulation of walls can stop the heat to enter the home from sides of the home. Usually, attic and walls are insulated but there are some people that prefer floor, duct or ceiling insulation depending on the peculiar needs. This way the home's indoor cooling doesn't get lost easily and the outdoor heat doesn't get a chance to peak in the home as easily as it usually does.

Make the most of home insulation 

Insulation is beneficial but so is ventilation. Air circulation is important else the indoor air will turn dry, stale and unhealthy. Therefore, open doors and windows in the early morning or at night to let fresh and cool air inside.
Also, placing a water reservoir under the fan with help circulate air while also cool the indoor. 

Does my home need Insulation? 

There are many Canadian homes that are not insulated at all and many others that are not insulated properly. A failing/old insulation results in;
- High energy bills
- Discomforted home
- Quick cooling/heating loss
If your home shows any of these signs, check when did you have your home insulated. Analyze if the insulation is old enough to have a refill or call a professional to get some insight regarding this.

What insulation type will best suit my home? 

There are different types of home insulation and different materials are used. Every home has different needs. Only an attic insulation can suffice for your home or you may need to insulate your walls and floor as well. Similarly, when it comes to the material of insulation, no random choices should be made. Different materials have different insulation capacity, they differ in cost plus, there are certain materials that some people are allergic to. Therefore, it is wise to contact an HVAC professional when planning home insulation to make the right type and material choices.

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Knowing and Fixing HVAC AirFlow Problems

An improper airflow can put you and your home in a complete discomfort. Interestingly, many homeowners face this problem but they never recognise it and even when they do, they don't have the necessary knowledge on how to fix the airflow problems. The reasons for improper air flow could be:
- Improper installation of HVAC appliances
- Blocked vents
- Clogged filters
Airflow problem, be it little or severe, can affect the comfort level and when fixed, you can enjoy a reduction in energy bills, increase in indoor comfort level and safety from any potential accidents.


Signs to detect poor airflow
So how, you, as a common homeowner, can detect poor airflow? There are some signs that can help detect that;
- Hot and cold spots in the home
- Draughty areas in the home
- Pressure problems
- Over time required in reaching the desired temperature
- Unusual sounds from the ductwork (usually of whistling)
 
Now let us discuss in detail the causes of poor airflow in detail.

Possible causes of poor air flow

Faulty Installation
We always recommend homeowners to go for professional installation particularly when it is about the costly HVAC appliances like Furnace, Air Conditioners etc. Energy Star claims that around half of the new HVAC units are installed by unprofessional people either homeowners themselves or uncertified techs. The wrong installation means high energy bills, compromised comfort, HVAC noises and what we are currently discussing; improper airflow. If you're about to install a system, choose professionals. If you're already done with the mistake of choosing the unprofessionals, don't repeat or drag the mistake further and call a certified HVAC tech to fix the loopholes in the installation.

Air Duct Leaks
Many homeowners never figure out that they are using a leaking air duct. The big leaks are though observable and suspectable, it is often times hard to find the minute leaks. The smaller the leak, the higher the velocity of the leaking air would be. And did you know that you could be losing 20% of the heat because of leaks and cracks in the ductwork? In order to check the leaks, take a toilet tissue, a piece of paper or a lit candle and move around the portions of ductwork where you suspect a leak. If the candle flickers or the paper/tissue suddenly start moving, there's a leak.

Know that you can always fix the small leaks using duct tape, or any other good adhesive tape. But for the big leaks, you may end up damaging the ductwork when doing a DIY. So better go for professional duct repair when it's a bigger damage.

Blocked Vents/Registers
Remember that an air duct is not just a pipe that brings you conditioned air. There are a lot of things that matter to make sure you reach a good comfort level. Every home has special needs and the ductwork is installed accordingly. The size of duct matters, the registers and vent style matters, the size of vents matter etc. So as the vents and registers get blocked for whatever reason, the entire system gets affected and thus the airflow is affected too. Be sure to not do any messing with the vents and registers like many people shut off the supply vents in unused rooms but this very practice itself adversely affects the system. Consult your HVAC tech before making any changes in the current duct and supply design.
Here's what can be done regarding blocked vents/registers:
- If your supply or return vents are hidden behind furniture, carpet or any other such thing, clear them of these hindrances

- Clean the registers and vents thoroughly using a soft brush to remove dirt and clogs

- When you're using a central heating/cooling system, it is always suggested to keep the interior door open to make a smooth airflow possible 

Dirty Filters
And this one goes without saying. Dirty Filters are the most common reason for the improper air flow. The dirt clogs the way and lets only partial air go through the filter. Clean your filters regularly to avoid the discomfort of improper air flow.

Dirty/inefficient/old HVAC components
While most of the times, the reason of improper air flow is one of those mentioned above, sometimes, it could be the dirty, inefficient or ageing component of the HVAC system that is the cause. You'd need to call an HVAC professional for diagnosis.

Let us remind you once again that improper airflow is a common problem that homeowners face. And it has the potential to bring discomfort to you if not fixed in time. You could be giving high energy bills, enjoying less comfort and decreasing your HVAC system lifespan if you're living with compromised airflow. So, fix it!



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Foul smells coming from HVAC vents – What are the causes?


Your HVAC system is responsible for providing you with cool/warm/fresh/humidified air and also to keep your indoor temperature comfortable. But it won’t ensure an odourless supply of air until and unless you’ve an odour air cleaner installed in the way. One reason for HVAC odour that you might already be familiar with is; dust and debris in the ductwork or the appliances. But there are many other stingy, stale odours that you may never have recognized correctly but have always worried about. If you’re feeling a strange odour in your home and nothing has worked out to evacuate it, this blog could be having some useful insights for you. Also, note that not all odours are harmful but there are some that really are. So, never remain headless towards whatever kind of unusual odour your HVAC system produces.


Smell#1: Burning or smoking odour


This type of odour coming from the HVAC system needs to be taken very seriously as this is often the sign of electrical or mechanical problems. Your motor could be over-heated, the mobile parts could be getting overburdened and may be ready to produce some kind of fire etc. So before it happens, do this; 

* Quickly shut off your system and the Thermostat
* Inspect and smell the indoor and outdoor units
* If the smell is coming from them, don’t turn the system ON again unless you have it inspected by an HVAC professional



Smell#2: A smoke like Odor


This kind of smell may not really smell like smoke but yet smells kind of smoky. The reason behind this type is the practice of smoking in the indoor. As someone smokes, the HVAC system circulates the very same smoky air. And this smoke gets penetrated into the walls of the duct work, in the coils and HVAC units. People living in such a home don’t really feel this odour as they are used to it. But someone who buys a smoke infiltrated home certainly notices it and may find it very irritating.

You’d again need to call a professional to get rid of this odour. They have special chemicals to remove HVAC system odours professionally and properly.


Smell#3: Musty & Damp Odor


The damp odour comes from the production of mould and mildew. And the bad news is; they will not only stay in the ductwork, instead, will spread all over into your home. This happens as a result of undrained tubes, leaking ductwork or improper insulation. So before you call on a professional or perform a DIY cleaning, make sure to fix these causes first.

Perform the clean up as early as possible when such an odour is suspected since it may turn out to be a health hazard. And the mould and mildew affected air, when circulates in the entire home can put your beautiful home at the deadly risk of becoming ugly.

Smell#4: First blow of season odour


This is the odour that almost every homeowner experiences. In the beginning of the season, as you turn your Air Conditioner or Furnace ON, the dust that these units have accumulated over time, gets a push towards your home. As a result, a dusty and stale air fills the home. Don’t worry! This is normal. Open your windows and doors to let this first season blow exit the home.

But hey wait! This does not happen more than a few times after restarting of the units. So if you constantly smell such an odour, it could be a possible symptom of a dirty or a leaking ductwork. A professional again!


Did you find this blog useful? Are there any other kinds of HVAC odors that you are tired of? And, do you have any DIY solutions to treat them? Share with us!

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Getting to know different types of Ductworks

If you are building or renovating a home and like central heating/cooling system over the ductless heating/cooling system, an important decision for you to make would be that of ductwork installation since, without a ductwork, the central cooling/heating system would not be possible. It is not only about choosing the right technician that matters in this case, it is also about making the right choice for the type of ductwork that you would install. There are different materials that are being used for ductwork installation, each with its own pros and cons and each with its own varying effectivity in varying circumstances. You need to learn about what variety is available to choose from in order to choose the most compatible material for your ductwork installation. The one which is also affordable and durable.



Stainless Steel Ducts

This types of ducts are what most homes have; made up of stainless steel pipes that are rectangular and rounded. These differently shaped ducts are fitted together and sealed tightly at the joints in order to make them fully airtight. Some people prefer to add a layer of foam or asbestos in or around the stainless steel duct in order to insulate it. The benefit of stainless steel duct is its longevity, however, the drawback is the initial cost that is required to install it. If you are low on budget, you would have to switch to another medium.


Non-metallic Ducts

In contrast to the metallic ducts, flexible non-metallic ducts are also prevalent due to the convincing feature of being able to accommodate in places of twist and turns or in small spaces. They are non-metallic and flexible as the name suggests. Made up of plastic or any other non-metallic material, these duct pipes are made up in a spring-like form and due to the non-metallic characteristic, they do not face corrosion that the metal ducts do over time. Plastic, with which these non-metallic ducts are usually made, are better at insulation than metals.

Fibreglass Ductboards

Compressed fibreglass is used in this type of ducts. The outer layer of Fibreglass duct boards is made up of foil that resists moisture while also serve as an air barrier. Like the outside, the inside of these ducts is also lined in order to prevent the fibreglass fragments to loose and enter your home. Fibreglass duct boards are among the most economical ductwork installation material. They are also sound proof.

The right installer matters!

Now that you have come to know of a brief introduction of the different materials available for ductwork installation, here's one thing that we want to remind you. And that is the importance of choosing the right installer. While many people underestimate professionalism, the truth is, a professional's well-performed job can save you money in the long run while a non-professional 's performed job will cost you money frequently. With special reference to the ductwork, keep in mind that the efficiency of your HVAC appliances is directly as well as indirect dependant on your ductwork. An improper installation will put your entire system at risk while your energy bills will also raise. So before you think that you are done with the best material choice for duct installation, wait a minute and think, ''Am I also done with the best installer choice''?

For ductwork installation or other HVAC queries, call 1-855-245-4328

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Get to know of these 4 mistakes made regarding Humidification systems

You could buy the brightest of brands and spend like the richest of all and still fail to enjoy the highest of efficiency from an HVAC appliance when you are into making some apparently ordinary mistakes. Let us talk in particular about the Humidification systems. Humidity drops below 10% in Winters when the Furnace is constantly running while the required level of indoor humidity is 30%-40%. And when there's low humidity, you could face several problems, the most common of which are; skin irritation, static electricity, breathing problems and others. But the matter of concern is; these problems can persist even when you have the costliest of Humidifier unit installed at home. Why on earth? Some common mistakes that lead to this uncomfortable indoor air are hereunder;


Mistake# 1: Wrong size
Installation of a Humidifier isn't enough. Size matters and it matters a lot. And the size of the unit does not only depend on the space area, it also depends on the building material used, the type of heating system incorporated to heat the indoors, the consideration of whether or not the house is insulated and also the presence of additional heating elements like Fireplace and space heaters that have a potential of over-drying the air. So before you say yes to a unit, consult a professional and make yourself 100% sure that it is the right size.

Mistake#2: Wrong type
In addition to the wrong size, another big mistake that is commonly made is that of choosing the wrong type. Homeowners often get so fascinated with the television advertisements or the sales and rebate options that they right away go for purchase without a second thought or proper consultation. The truth is; different systems are made to work best under different particular conditions. Your home may or may not be the right place to install that type of unit that you are choosing. In addition to that, the likes and dislikes of the homeowners do also count. Some members may be irritated with a particular type of Humidification mechanism so you need to keep all these factors under consideration before installing a whole-home Humidifier that will, of course, affect all inmates.

Mistake#3 Wrong Installation
And here we present to you another common blunder. There are several instances where the Humidifier fails to perform with optimal efficiency from the very beginning when it is brand new. And the reason behind that is; improper installation. It is unwise to expect an appliance to give 100% efficiency when it was not given a 100% right installation. The loopholes left during the course of unprofessional and improper installation not only affect the efficiency of the unit but also lead the unit to frequent repairs and sudden breakdowns. So when you have already acted generous enough to spend those dollars that you spent on the purchase of a costly and branded unit, show some more generosity and go for professional installation. You can use your DIY skills elsewhere so better not ruin this investment with an unwise decision of DIY or unprofessional installation.

Do you have a Humidifier installed at home? If not, how do you maintain indoor humidity? If yes, do you think it is the right unit for your home?  

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9 Smart Ways to keep yourself warm when your Furnace/Heater ceases to work

Summer has finally ended. Chilly winds, awesome weather, Winter dresses out of the closet, pancakes, nachos and there you go, the first rain of Winter arrives and all of a sudden you run for turning on the heating appliances but wait! What? Don’t tell that the Furnace is not working! No! It's -3 degrees Fahrenheit people, the time we desperately want our homes to be fully cosy and comfortably warm. Unfortunately, this is the situation that many homeowners have to face; of the unavailability of heating appliances primarily because the appliances were not given an in-time tune-up. So what to do when this happens? How to keep yourself warm when the Furnace/Heater/Boiler ceases to work? Here are some tips to help you fight such circumstances like a smart homeowner.

Winter home heating tips

  • Pack yourself

Did you get it? Yes! cover yourself with undershirts, warmers, tights, knee length socks and fitted warm clothes to avoid the ice-age you are in. Wear woollen mufflers outside and knitted caps inside as they are the warmest of all. Even for the normal conditions, experts say it is better to cover yourself with warm clothes than to run heating appliances all the time.
  • Close the doors

Yes, If you want to protect yourself from cold and numbing air slinking in from the cracks of your doors, windows and skylights, close them! Cover the bottom spaces of doors with foot mats and tightly lock slides of windows to keep the room temperature from decreasing. Also, do not forget the skylights as they play a vital role in cooling the house by pulling the hot air out. Make sure no indoor heat is losing through doors.
  • The oven heats pizza, why can't it heat you?

Ready to make some muffins or cheesecake? Make lots of cookies, crescents and cupcakes and enjoy them. Also, fill the jar for any expected guests. But what’s the hack in here? What does that have to do with you running short of indoor heat? There it is! After baking, leave open the oven door for a while for the heat particles to hug the cold air outside so that the environment gets a little cosy & warm.
  • Hot Water Bottles - Mini DIY heaters

Ever tried hot water bottles for pain relief? They work absolutely amazing for heating your sleeping sheets. Fill a hot water bottle and keep it under your blanket to warm up the whole blanket and the area you’re lying.
  • Carpets to suck coldness

Cover your floor with carpets or rugs in Winter as it will also protect you from getting cold and will prevent the floor from wintry sub-zero frore.
  • Laundry saves you from freezing

It’s difficult to move about in colder temperatures but that is what will help you feel less cold. Generate natural heat by exercising or doing house chores like laundry etcetera. Ever wondered why we feel less cold when busy with work and why begin to shiver when free. This is why!
  • Coffee Love

       For the coffee lovers, that’s your time to avail the opportunity of taking hot beverages as much as you can. So stuff your mouth with your favourite chocolates, look for the perfect tea /coffee flavour, get yourself an Italian cappuccino and voila! You will feel free from the cold outside and experience the warmth deep inside!  
  • Ever tried Acupressure as an alternative of Furnace?

Try learning about some acupressure points which help you in stabilizing your body temperature and producing body heat. Basics can be learned easily from internet. There are some youtube channels run by professionals that can help learn about acupressure.
  • Fabric matters

Buy some velvet bedsheets and avoid those cotton or silk bed covers as they do not get warm as effectively as the velvet or wool bed sheets do. When it comes to Winter shopping, every single choice matters.

We hope these quick hacks would help you guys but better get the furnace repaired or buy a new one to save yourself a fatigue. Be quick to bring your heating fortune back in order to enjoy soothing and warm indoor air with least hassle and unease.

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3 signs your heating system needs an upgrade

Things get old over time, you already know this and when they get old, they lose their actual efficiency. An old cooling system would fail to cool you the way it did and the same would happen to an old heating system. And mind it! This does not happen only when the systems get old, the same consequences need to be faced when the systems; heating, cooling are not given in time maintenance and in time repairs. So there are possibilities that your system will experience the same damages much earlier that it would otherwise have to bear much later. In addition to all that has been said, we also need to give you an interesting insight and here it is; most homeowners think that HVAC systems often break down without any prior signs. This never happens! Heating and cooling appliances and the HVAC system in general shows multiple signs at multiple intervals to inform their homeowner that there's something seriously wrong going on with them. It is insufficient care, lack of regular maintenance and absence of professional diagnosis that worsens the situation and the homeowner never get to know it until the time of repair or the time of changing the system altogether. One the dangers of using outdated and old systems particularly those involving gas or electrical connections is that they can put you and your family's life at risk. Here's our humble attempt to help you figure out when it is time for your system to get an upgrade.

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Rising energy bills and repair cost
What is the sense of dragging a system that gives you fatty energy bills, frequent repairs and yet fails to provide efficient heating? Winters are special and therefore, such a beautiful season should not be spoiled by compromising on the level of indoor comfort by continuing to shiver with cold blows despite the presence of a heating system at home. Whether your system has completed its lifespan or not, if it has started to cause a rise in energy bills and has doubled the repair costs, you should seriously think what you're doing both with the home and with your hard-earned money. Make a wise decision and upgrade the system. Of course, you'd have to spend thousands for a new system but be sure these thousands are worth better than those thousands that you will continue to spend on energy bills and repairs for long and would still be left with a lingering system with insufficient efficiency.

Meant for warmth but doesn't warm
You install a heating system to provide you with warmth when the Winter is cruel outside. What then is the use of a system that is apparently there but totally absent efficiency wise? If your system is too old, take the decision right away, however, if your system, you think, is too new to show such inefficiencies, then call a professional for a proper inspection of the system. As said already, that often times a system shows signs of replacement much earlier than the expected time primarily because of poor maintenance, it is not necessary that your system would stand back up straight after the repairs. Let the professional suggest what needs to be done with the system. If the repair cost is too much and the system is expected to show lesser efficiency than usual even after that, the wisest decision would be to upgrade it.

Too old? Danger at home!
Take for example Furnaces in consideration. It is unfortunate that many homeowners despite knowing that the use of a Red Tag Furnace is prohibited by law continue to use it. And the Red Tag Furnaces are often the old Furnaces. The reason why old systems should be upgraded right away is that they are not only a threat to the property but also to the lives of the homeowners. There are numerous incidents in which the Carbon Monoxide leaks from old Furnaces took the life of the residents and many others in which the fire broke out due to systems that were too old and yet were kept in use. Since the lifetime of a Furnace is 15-20 years, you should seriously think of an upgrade if its 20th birthday has already passed.

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